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Searching for the everyday normal: continuities, discontinuities and transformation in crises
Solange Fontana (University of Oxford)
Dorothea Hilhorst (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Dr Dorothea Hilhorst / Ms Solange Fontana
Dr David Ehrhardt/ Dr Tom Scott-Smith
Room 9 (Examination Schools)
Start time:
12 September, 2016 at 14:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel explores how society structures itself in times of crises and considers the interplay between social structures, agency and crisis dynamics. Ultimately it examines the continuities, discontinuities and transformations which constitute people's "every day normal" at such times.

Long abstract:

Crises - whether violent conflict or natural disaster - are often analysed as disorderly events that suspend development and disrupt people's lives. Over the last decade, scholarship on macro-dynamics of crises has been complemented by a growing interest in micro-dynamics at local level. Yet these valuable contributions are often based on analytical categories developed in relation to the crisis - IDPs, gender-based violence, peace-keeping etc.

Less attention is paid to how society functions, structures itself and interacts with people's everyday lives during crisis. Though some academics have risen to the challenge, scholarship on such themes remains sporadic, both within and across disciplines.

This panel brings together academics with different thematic, area and disciplinary expertise to explore politics writ-small. In particular, it considers those social actors, institutions, norms and practices which order local realities and strongly affect the range of constraints and opportunities people face. In turn, panelists ask how these varied factors interact with key crisis and power dynamics and discuss their outcomes.

Understanding structure and order in crises; what forms it takes; how it interacts with and influences everyday lives, as well as power and crisis dynamics themselves, are important questions. They relate directly to people's lived-experience and point to continuities and transformations which significantly mark both crises and post-crisis landscapes.

In order to reach a wider audience, the panel aims to propose a special issue (journal to be confirmed) and contribute to the policy-oriented work of the DFID-funded Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium.